Mildon, Dickenson, Sherratt, Kamal, Osbourn (P), Osgood, Hanmer, Osborne (D), Bayne, Kirkness, Gibbins.
After the tranquil isles of Guernsey and Mann, the Whalers tackled the third of the trilogy looking to wreak havoc on a small population and find girls who looked like girls after the tattooed monsters of Manx.
The tour started with the habitual pint of strong continental in Gatwick airport followed by a new twist as on landing we found that the ground staff at Gatwick had not quite finished the course on how to put bags on a plane and Vice Captain Mildon’s bag was enjoying a leisurely stay back on the mainland.
After a substantial faff at the airport and a promise that the bag would be delivered during the day to the hotel, we set off for the Royal Hotel which I would be very surprised if her majesty or anyone else from the ruling party have every set foot in. That said it was clean, served drinks and showed sport so can’t argue.
With an hour or so to kill and with Mildon in search of new kit we settled in to watch the World Cup winning England boys get a kicking from the Aussies. After too many tries to mention and a total lack of understanding from our backs, we set off to a place that none of the cabbies had heard of somewhere in the centre of the island.
On arrival, the reason for its anonymity become apparent as it was revealed that this was a farmers field last year and the farmer had decided that in order to guarantee himself a place opening both the batting and bowling, he built himself his own pitch. But what a great pitch it was. Although not finished and with clubhouses etc to add, this was a fine effort and my congratulations go to the Farmers on having the balls to take something like this on and give it a go.
With the opposition arriving from various fields in the area, we were put in to bat to face what this new wicket had to offer. To be honest, I can’t remember too much about the bowling attack but it was slower, straighter and with less wides than we bowl. Oz and Al put on a good start before the big man was removed for 32. Gibbo had a short cameo minus walking boots before captain Bayne stepped to the crease. And that’s where the wickets ended! Oz and Ol finished unbeaten on 92 and 44 respectively with a score of 192-2 posted on the board and we looked like a proper team.
With no bowling figures, their innings will have to be a bit of a guess. They finished on around 160 all out with a few overs to spare having lost their first few wickets quite cheaply. A good bit of slogging from the resident tennis pro brought them in with a shout but it was nicely tidied up with plenty of time for beer. Highlights of their innings included a slip catch for Duncs to keep up his tour average and a nice share of the wickets amongst the bowlers. Special mention goes to Al in the gully position and his new catching style of using his eye socket. However with a small amount of loving from the ladies on the sideline, the big man was back for a cameo late on.
Down to the local for a few pints and a steak dinner (Gammon for Ol and Salmon en croute for Dan) then back home to spruce up and hit the town. Armed with a map from our local contact and a mission to find ladies without tattoos, we set off into the night. As far as I remember we started in Chambers for a few and then the sports bar and then up to the new part of town to see if we could find some youngsters to impress. And boy did we find them but unfortunately they didn’t look too impressed. After looking like we were going to send them to their rooms without any tea or ground them, most of the young fillies took a wide berth. Still, great night had by all and most drinks seemed normal in colour and stayed down when swallowed.
We were then graced by the presence of a night angel who managed to guide ten drunks home from one side of St Helier to the other whilst fending off vague attempts to be chatted up. As she disappeared in to the night, there was a collective sigh as we thought of what might have been and the trouble we could have got into. The comedy night porter, who on request for some food, produced the most extensive sandwich array, including side salad that was promptly demolished, brought about a last bright spark
The morning consisted of Whalers arriving in dribs and drabs to breakfast and a long session of paper reading whilst the worst of the hangovers went away. A short taxi ride brought us to the feature match of our tour against the Jersey Island Cricket Club (JICC). Memories of their match against the MCC were still fresh as they took a look at the touring side and tried to second-guess our strategy. Little should they have bothered as they won the toss and chose to bat. A good opening spell from Dan succeeded in removing the off stump of one of their openers and generally keeping scoring to level below that of the Isle of Mann but with a few dropped catches and last nights beer working its magic, we were finally spanked around for 240 for 4 off a mere forty overs.
Highlights were few and far between but the ball from Dan that removed their opener and Ed dropping his first catch for the Whalers were probably the best. I also think that our generosity in providing a good 50 extras, most in wides, was a luxury they could have well done without
Batting. Well this was a different story to the previous day with the attack looking young, quick and unlike us, pretty accurate. With a required scoring rate of a run a ball and Oz looking like he’d rather be curled up with a good book than put on his pads for the 121st consecutive over things didn’t look too promising. And so it happened. The top order didn’t really take the shine off the ball and an appalling run out for Ollie left the captain unable to improve on yesterday’s fine play. A good wag in the tail from Hanmer, Osgood and others got us to within 100 but we finally succumbed to 160 all out with 6 overs still remaining. Pleasantries were exchanged in the bar where it was revealed that they had put out their strongest side of the season improved spirits slightly but we knew we were well and truly humped.
Sunday night took on the more leisurely approach with good food, fine wines and poor taste in clubs. Follies was no Liquid of the previous night but Big Al still cut some shapes and Hanmer startled the young ladies with his dancing to Space Cowboy.
The Monday saw the usual combo of sports day activities on a cracking beach somewhere on the Jersey coast. Ed ran like the young man he is, Gibbo sat out as the old man he is becoming and the rest of us played merrily until the tide made the square leg boundary so short that Kamal started to look like Freddie Flintoff.
A quick run back to the hotel for the kit and a short flight back got all the Whalers home in time for tea and able to sit back and reflect on their first post-Nelson tour and smile in the knowledge that their ear drums did not need replacing. All in all a cracking tour with the usual mixture of good drinking and poor hung over cricket and I’m sure one year the Whalers will get old enough to win a Sunday tour match
Saturday 26th June v Farmers XI
Whalers CC 192-2 off 35 overs (Osbourn 92*, Bayne 44*, Dickenson 32)
Farmers CC 140ish all out off around 35 overs
|Champagne||Duncs slip catch|
|Muppet||Position vacant (too harsh to give it to Al)|
Sunday 27th June v Jersey Island Cricket Club
JICC 240-4 off 40 Overs
Whalers CC 160 all out off 34 Overs
|MOM||Dan Osgood/Adam Hanmer|
|Champagne||Dan Osgood’s screamer to remove their openers middle stump|
|Muppet||Ed’s first drop for the Whalers|